Live Posting Guide

Conferences are an ideal place to reconnect with your old acquaintances, meet new people and enlarge your (online) network. Live-posting has become a huge part of conferences, big and small. The following short guide will help you use social media effectively and professionally during your attendance at conferences: 

1. Make sure you know the #hashtag of the event

Browse through the event website, check the social media profiles to find the right event hashtag. If you don’t use the correct hashtag you may find out afterwards that no one saw your posts.

2. Engage with people prior to the event

Attending conferences can be daunting experience, especially if you don’t know anyone else who will be attending. If you follow the conference hashtag before the conference, you may be able to make some social connections beforehand, and find out some good tips about the conference hosting city/venue, transport, dining options, and other interesting things going on as part of or nearby the conference.

3. Find out the social media user names of speakers (in advance if possible)

The schedule of an event is usually up well in advance so you can plan which sessions you’re going to attend. Look up the speakers beforehand and find their social media user names. Some presenters will also include their social media user names on their slide shows and handouts.

4. Capture the essence of the conversations

Choose the statements made by speakers (or people asking questions) that are the most interesting to your followers.  A big part of posting to social media from a conference or other event is about curating the most relevant and important points that speakers make and sharing them with your followers. Remember, not everything said at a conference is worth repeating.

Tip: let your other followers know that you plan to live post an event in advance so they can temporarily mute your social media feed or the hashtag that you are using.

5. Quote speakers correctly

When you post ideas and quotes from speakers, always add their social media user names to attribute their authorship. If they’re not on social media simply include their name in the post (use a format like “[name] says [their statement]”) so you don’t confuse their ideas with yours.

6. Post consistently but wisely

Post consistently throughout the event to keep appearing in the social media stream, but choose your posts wisely to bring a different perspective on the event. Be careful not to become spammy!

Tip: Linking back to your earlier posts is a good way to reflect on your own experience at the conference.

7. Remember to be polite and respectful

Disagree with something a speaker says? Don’t be afraid to share that, just remember to be respectful and professional.

8. Post interesting and compelling visual content and rich media

If you have their permission, take pictures of the speakers, their slide shows, other fellow delegates, the venue premises, conference dinner (and other social events), etc. If a speaker mentions a website, video/audio, or paper, try to find a link to it and include it in your post.

9. Connect with other fellow delegates

Be generous, repost and favourite other event related posts to increase your social footprint. Using the event hashtag, your posts will appear in the live stream and people will start following you. Make sure you follow them back so the newly created connections can extend to off-line meetings too.

10. Keep the conversation going

Make sure that you respond to the posts of other conference delegates and those who are following the hashtag but who may not be in attendance. Engage in the conversation by agreeing/disagreeing  with the posted statements or providing your own point of view. The repost function on social media allows you to quote a post and then add your own comments.